January 25, 2013

Winter Gardening Is Super-KALE-ifragilisticexpialidocious

Kale is a super-food, a green, growing vitamin/mineral supplement courtesy Mother Nature
People in most places in Canada rarely use the words 'winter' and 'gardening' in the same sentence. On the West coast things are a bit different. This year Linda and I are enjoying winter gardening for the first time.

While the coldest season of the year places severe restrictions on what can be grown, what does manage to is more than welcome. Fresh, local, organic produce grown during the darkest days of the year in my own garden makes me happy.

Our 4X8 raised bed plot in the community garden has some brussel sprouts that are struggling to mature during the overcast, rainy days. I'm not sure they will ever amount to much. However, our kale has been thriving and grows in a big, bushy bunch of free food.

I love to bicycle the (often rain-soaked) 6km round trip to visit our garden and pick a bunch of dark green, leafy kale. I  so prefer that over going to the grocery store and paying cash for the limp bunches that lay exhausted on display after the long trip from distant destinations.

I hear that kale chips are great, and we will try them eventually, but I can't resist the simplicity and ease of just chopping, steaming, and eating with a bit of butter and vinegar.

Winter gardening is super-KALE-ifragilisticexpialidocious.

Nutrient Value of Kale (1cup/130 grams cooked)

Kale is one of the most amazing vegetables known, akin to broccoli in its overall health benefits. I like to think of kale as mother nature's little pharma. This is a plant that turns sunlight, air, soil, and water into edible leaves that are like power-packed nutritional supplements.

Check out kale's impressive nutritional profile - it has more iron than beef does, and more calcium than milk. But wait - there's more! It also has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (AND it's tasty).

Nutrient                   % Daily Value

vitamin K                 1327.6%
vitamin A                 354.1%
vitamin C                 88.8%
manganese               27%
fiber                        10.4%
copper                     10%
tryptophan               9.3%
calcium                    9.3%
vitamin B6               9%
potassium                8.4%
iron                         6.5%
magnesium              5.8%
vitamin E                5.5%
omega-3 fats           5.4%
vitamin B2             5.2%
protein                   4.9%
vitamin B1             4.6%
folate                      4.2%
phosphorus             3.6%
vitamin B3             3.2%

Calories (36)          2%

Wow! This stuff is good enough to pay for, but I am glad that I don't have to. You can find information about growing kale at this gardening website.

Good gardening, and good health to you.


  1. Anonymous1/25/2013

    I must confess that I've never tried kale. Winter gardening isn't possible here, but I'll have to try kale this summer.

    1. We just started eating it last year after being introduced to growing it by other gardeners at our community garden.

      Before we enjoyed beet greens and spinach, but somehow missed kale. It is kind of similar to the others in taste and preparation, although it takes a little longer to steam its more robust leaves. Young, tender leaves can be eaten raw in salads, although we have not yet tried this.

      Kale chips, of course, are suppose to be legendary - another thing for us to try with a future crop.

      Information about growing kale:



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